De Trafford Chenin Blanc 1999
( Winner of the 2000 Chenin Blanc Wine Challenge )
1 block ( Keerweder ) 27 year old vines on a 3 wire trellis on neighbouring cool high altitude SW slope. Deep red Hutton soil with good moisture retention. Unirrigated. Yield 7 tons / hectare.
2 blocks ( Post House ) 13 & 15 year old vines on a 4 wire trellis with moveable foliage wires. Lower slopes of the Helderberg, 8 km from the cooling influence of the sea. Gravelly Hutton soil. Yield 5 & 10 tons / hectare. Lightly irrigated to releave drought and heat stress.
The growing season was good with ( thankfully ) above average rain in November and December, as the following ripening period was particularly dry and hot. The grapes were picked in the cooling mornings @ 23 – 24 degrees balling.
Harvest date 15 / 2 / 99 – 1 / 3 / 99
Grapes lightly crushed and allowed 3 hours skin contact before gently pressing in a traditional basket press. Sulphur and dry ice added and natural settling allowed for 2 days before
100 % barrel fermentation with natural yeasts.
All the wine kept in 225 l casks for 7 months with lees stirred 1 – 2 times a month initially.
30 % new oak used – mostly American from Demptos, Napa. No malolactic fermentation.
Bottled unfiltered on the property by hand with only a light bentonite fining.
Bottling date : 24 / 9 / 99.
An appealing light yellow colour.
The nose shows attractive vanilla oakiness with apricot fruit core and an intiguing mineral, damp hay character.
The palate is very full bodied with a mouthwatering thread of acidity that carries the complex fruit and oak flavours to a long aftertaste.
Excellent with rich fish and seafood dishes, subtle red and white meats or on its own.
ALC. 14.1 SUGAR 1.6 TA 7.1 pH 3.45 VA 0.45 SO2 16 & 93